Reader Q | Wedding Guest Dresses For Postpartum Moms (2024)

This post was originally published in — whoa — 2012, and, frankly, I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around that fact. So here we are a whole decade later, and What to Wear to a Wedding is still one of our readers’ top questions. I swear we could dedicate an entire month to wedding guest attire. For this post, specifically, I wanted to focus on wedding guest dresses for new moms.

*Pssst…we’ve created a new, 2023 post detailing what to wear to a wedding after giving birth, so check it out! The links in this article have been updated too.

What To Wear To A Wedding At 2 Months Postpartum?

When I first wrote this article, it was in response to ‘Meg in Philly’ and my oldest was only two-years-old. Now, all these years later, my advice was still pretty sound, but a few of the styles of dresses could use a modern upgrade. Here’s what Meg asked:

I am 2 months postpartum and looking for a dress to wear to a wedding in September. I was hoping to wear something in my existing wardrobe but alas I am not quite back to my pre-baby shape. I used to be a size 0 and now, well, I’m not (sigh).

One issue is this voluptuous chest I now have (I’m breastfeeding). I used to be barely a B cup and now I’m a D! I have no idea what neck line or dress shape will flatter my current shape. I’m not comfortable in strapless dresses and would prefer something that is not too tight. I’m 5’2″ and currently about 123 lbs…and still sporting a small pooch.

Any suggestions?? Thanks!
Meg in Philly

Meg in Philly, you might be my body twin.I had also attended a wedding postpartum after Raines was born…but I was 9 months postpartum, not two!! Anyone attending weddings a mere two months after giving birth is a total rock star.

Ten years and two babies later…I’ve learned a few things about dressing as a new mom —after just having a baby and nursing. And while I do think that you should (first and foremost) just wear whatever the heck you want, I do understand wanting to play down the postpartum figure.

I rounded up a few of my favorite dress styles for those postpartum, nursing days. All of these dresses fall, on a varying scale, from either distracting the eye away from the stomach (a technique I still swear by) to using volume or other tricks (knots, draping, ruching, texture) to hide it.

Many of these dresses are nursing-friendly, too. Only a few are actual nursing dresses, but most of us have figured out (or will eventually figure out) how to nurse in regular clothing.

1. Wedding Guest Attire For New Moms: Start At Shop BURU

ShopBURU is an online boutique specifically for new moms. Morgan, the founder (and now, designer) of Shop BURU not only designs clothing with nursing mamas in mind, but she includes how-to-nurse information in the description of each piece. (This dress, as one example, has a hidden front zipper for nursing.) Additionally, most (if not all) of the pieces she designs are machine washable.

dress, left | skirt | floral dress, right

Best of all? Her designs are gorgeous. Morgan likes classic, timeless pieces…but with some drama. While her collection is ultimately, very practical, it always feels a little fancy, too, making it perfect for special occasions. I can attest to the timelessness of her designs. Even, ahem, 11 years postpartum (haha), and I’m still happily shopping at Shop BURU (just bought these pants, actually).

2. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Find Stretchy, Ruched Dresses

Stretchy dresses with ruching are probably my top pick for wedding guest dress ideas, simply because these are still the dresses I love to wear, all these years later. They’re comfortable, flattering and sexy as hell.

The first place I’d start to look? Norma Kamali. While all of her designs are gorgeous, her Grecian-goddess Diana dress is my favorite. It’s timeless, beautiful and comes in a ton of colors/fabrics (I’m seriously considering this daring one).

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Note: Most of these dresses do benefit from shaper underwear, but there’s often enough ruching that it truly doesn’t matter.

3. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Distract With Patterns

Wildly pretty dresses are a joy to wear, and a great print can make up for a lot of sleepless nights And if said dress also has some design details that provide further camouflage (ruching, tie-waist, ruffles, swingy shape, etc.,), that’s a bonus.

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4. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Look For Knots, Pleats, Twists Or Strategic Drape

If you don’t want to go with pretty florals or bold patterns, there’s plenty of other design details that can help hide a softer stomach. A strategically-placed knot, a bit of intentionally twisted fabric, or a well-placed drape not only has a cool, nonchalant vibe, but is wildly flattering, as well.

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5. Wedding Guest Dresses For New Moms: Try Trapeze, Empire or Other Swingy Shapes

Dresses with voluminous silhouettes can easily hide a postpartum stomach. A trapeze dress, for example, has volume that starts just under the shoulder and swings out. Empire waist dresses have a swingy skirt that starts just under the bust (and ones with a poufy skirt do a better job of hiding a stomach, rather than highlighting it). Drop waist dresses don’t flare out until lower on the hips, but most have more room in the waist (they’re almost never fitted). Even a traditional shift dress can work postpartum, as long as the waist is comfortable, and not too fitted.

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The Best Strapless Bra For Nursing Mamas (+ Do I Need Spanx?)

While a few of these dress choices can be worn with a regular bra (or nursing bra), most of my dress options require a strapless bra. Oddly enough, strapless bras were one of my favorite bras to nurse in. I preferred the strapless bras with really thick, molded foam cups (the kind that retain their shape.) Because they retain their shape, they were easy to flip down to nurse…and then would just snap back up into place.

The best strapless bra for nursing mamas (based on my own experience and reader recommendations) is Wacoal’s Red Carpet Strapless Bra. I’ve also a tons of luck with ThirdLove’s strapless bra as well.

In the early postpartum days, I did love me some shapers (Spanx or otherwise) under my clothes. The extra support felt really good after my C-Section, and there’s no doubt that these shapers do help hide postpartum stomach softness. That said, while most of these dress will look amazing with a little help from Spanx…I tried to source dresses that don’t really need it.

If interested…I swore by Yummie for light support and Spanx’s shorts, otherwise.

Hope this helps!!



Oh, hey, Pinners!

Reader Q | Wedding Guest Dresses For Postpartum Moms (2024)


What kind of dress should I wear after giving birth? ›

Unfortunately, new mommies, your pregnancy belly will not reduce immediately after birth, so you may want to choose a dress that is loose and has openings for breastfeeding. Again, it should be light-weight, flexible, and breathable with no special fasteners. It should make it easy for you to sit and walk around.

What dress neckline is best for breastfeeding? ›

A tank dress provides ideal torso coverage. For more chest coverage, pair with a cardigan or scarf. V-neck or generous scoop neck - Any shirt with an ample neckline makes it easier to pull down for a feeding.

How do I style my postpartum belly? ›

Go for darker colors. Darker colors absorb light and make bodies appear slimmer than they actually are. Colors like navy blue, black, deep browns, and charcoal should be your go-to when dressing the postpartum body. Apart from making you look slimmer, they make your silhouette appear more curvy and sensuous.

What should I wear after labor? ›

Clothes wise, immediately post-partum or for coming home, I would recommend stretchy dresses or leggings and a large t-shirt or vest in the summer months.

How long do you wear postpartum? ›

You'll wear postpartum underwear during the postpartum recovery period for as long as you continue to bleed and discharge after birth. This is usually between 3 and 6 weeks. They can be washed and kept in rotation until you stop bleeding, then get them back out when your normal cycle returns.

What size will I be after giving birth? ›

You lose about 10 pounds right away after giving birth and a little more within the first week. It takes time to lose all the weight you gained. Some women don't lose all the weight they gained during pregnancy right away. This can cause a lot of stress.

What makes a dress breastfeeding friendly? ›

Featuring nursing access like front zips, side zips, button-ups, elastic and pull-down or lift-to-feed styles, so you can choose the perfect style for your needs. Breastfeeding Maxi Dresses come in a range of beautiful printed dresses and bold colours as well as classic neutrals.

What not to wear while breastfeeding? ›

Breast Care

Wear a supportive bra, even at night. Make sure it fits well and is not too tight. Nursing bras are convenient for feeding. Avoid restrictive clothing and underwire bras, which can cause blocked milk ducts and increase the risk of breast infection.

What bras should you avoid while breastfeeding? ›

Fuller breasts can be slightly bigger and feel heavier just before a feed. Underwire can put pressure around the edges of the milk ducts, causing blockages. If you're wearing an underwired bra, you need to be sure it is fitted extra carefully. Don't wear one if it shows any signs of digging into the breast tissue .

Does postpartum saggy belly go away? ›

Over time, your postpartum belly will lessen on its own. However, there are ways you can improve your postpartum belly at home. Once your doctor says it's OK, try to add exercise to your daily routine. Start with walking and light body weight exercises.

How long does stomach stay saggy after birth? ›

This loose belly skin can take several weeks or many months to reduce and repair. After having a baby your skin should slowly return to normal, but it does take time for skin to regain its elasticity, and sometimes you need to help it along with the recovery process.

How long does it take for your stomach to flatten after giving birth? ›

Nonetheless, your body could take anywhere from six to nine months postpartum—and in some cases, as long as two years—to return to pre-pregnancy weight.

Do you wear a bra during labor? ›

Studies suggest giving birth is the equivalent to running a marathon in terms of energy output, (and can actually result in similar injuries, but let's not go there right now!) so it makes sense to wear a bra and/or clothing fit for exertion and perspiration.

How many outfits to bring to hospital for mom? ›

Too many clothes.

You'll likely be in your nightgown for most of your stay, so you won't need a lot of clothes. Pack a going-home outfit that is comfortable and easy to put on, like leggings and a loose shirt.

What pants are best postpartum? ›

Loose styles of pants are a good idea as you may be feeling sore after the birth, particularly if you had a caesarean . Big, high-waisted briefs are the way to go after caesareans as bikini styles could rub on your scar. Women who've had a caesarean are particularly encouraged to wear cotton underwear .

How to wear dresses while nursing? ›

Your stomach, back and top are all covered. Crossover fronts give easy access. Shirts, dresses and tanks with a front crossover style work fabulously for nursing.

What tops are easiest to breastfeed in? ›

Nursing Tank Tops

With sides that you can unclip and pull down like a nursing bra, these comfortable tops allow easy access to your breasts for feeding. You can wear a tank top on its own if you're feeling warm, or layer it under other items of clothing. These might be a good option to wear overnight for easy feeding.

What tops are good for nursing? ›

  • Best Overall. H&M Nursing Tank Tops. ...
  • Best Budget. Mothera Nursing Top. ...
  • Best Splurge. Storq Mama + BB Nursing Cardigan. ...
  • Best for Big Breasts. Bodily Always-On Nursing Tank. ...
  • Best Long-Sleeve. Seraphine Roll Neck Maternity & Nursing Top. ...
  • Best Short-Sleeve. Hatch The Luxe Nursing Tee. ...
  • Best Tank. ...
  • Best Plus Size.
Feb 26, 2024


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